Islam Slimani sits out friendly as Rafa Benitez sweats on Newcastle's international players

Rafa Benitez breathed a sigh of relief at Newcastle United '“ after Islam Slimani was not 'risked' for Algeria.

Thursday, 22nd March 2018, 8:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd March 2018, 8:10 pm
Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Slimani linked up with his international team-mates despite not being fit enough to play in Sunday’s friendly against Royal Antwerp in Spain.

The on-loan striker, sidelined with a thigh injury since joining from Leicester City in January, did not play in a friendly against Tanzania today.

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Slimani, however, could be involed in Tuesday’s game against Iran in Austria.

Speaking last week, United manager Benitez said: “If he can play with the national team a little bit, that is a risk, because he’s not playing for us.”

Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, on loan from Sparta Prague, was in goal for Slovakia in their 2-1 win over United Arab Emirates in Thailand.

Winger Matt Ritchie (Scotland) and defender Ciaran Clark (Republic of Ireland) could play for their countries tomorrow night.